As you can likely guess from the title...... I'M PREGNANT! Yay for new babies! My older kids are so excited, they are constantly giving my food (even when I have my own) and telling me that I need to feed my small baby (my 18 month old is my big baby). My three year old keeps putting his hand on my tummy to feel the baby, even though I tell him it's too small to feel right now (I'm due in September) he still insists that he can feel it (I think he only remembers the end of my last pregnancy, when he could feel the baby).
As can be expected at this stage, I have been experiencing "morning sickness" but it lasts all day. I experienced the same thing with my first, but with my second and third I only felt nauseous when I was really hungry or if I smelled tuna fish or barbeque sauce. I kind of figured/hoped that the nausea was only so strong the first time because I wasn't used to the hormone changed and because I was so used to doing more hard core exercise and was then too tired to do much at all. But I am back to the all day nausea and extreme fatigue and just feeling...bleh. The big difference is: with my first, it was only my husband and I, he didn't work as many hours so he could make me toast when I fist woke up to keep the nausea down, I only had a few classes or a few hours of work which were fairly minimal, then I could come home and nap when I needed to.
Now: three kids I get to take care of. Ages 5, 3 and 1. We also homeschool, and my husband works about twice as many hours a week than he did during my first pregnancy. So more responsibility and less adult help. Oy! What's a mommy to do? Here's how I've been handing it to keep nausea down and energy a little higher.
1. Have a bedtime. The kids have their bedtimes, and I enjoy the quiet hours right after they go to bed. I have always been a very big nighttime person, and had trouble with insomnia (except in Basic Training) so this has been a challenge for me. But if I exercise during the day (not very close to bedtime) and don't take a long nap while the kids are sleeping (though any sleep at all is nigh impossible). Even if I haven't gotten everything done that I want to do I have been forcing myself to drop it and get to bed. Even if it takes a while to fall aspeep, just laying down and relaxing helps.
2. Eat when you wake up. A lot of pregnancy books advise keeping crackers on the bedside table, which is a good idea, but I thought they were too dry and crumbly, and they made me want milk, which I can't keep by the bed all night and it just didn't work for me. Now I have kids who get up fairly early so I have to get out of bed no matter how woozy I feel. I have found that eating a banana right when I get up really calms my stomach. Then I get the kids breakfast so no one has a low blood sugar meltdown and I eat something more filling for breakfast. I am impressed by how well this works for me. It's kind of nice.
3. Beans. Small amounts of protein throughout the day help keep morning sickness down, but I've found that beans seem gentler on my tummy than eggs or meat, plus the smell of eggs and meat cooking when I'm pregnant can sometimes turn my stomach, and beans are lower in fat, which is good if you're eating them every few hours. Homemade lentil and cheese burritos are my friend.
4. Gum. I've found that when I'm cooking and don't want to eat right before dinner or something, chewing sugar free minty gum helps make the nausea subside while chewing and for a few minutes after spitting it out. Then I eat and that helps too. This only works sometimes, and maybe once or twice a day, but every little bit helps!
5. Get little helpers. As I mentioned, my husband works a lot of hours, so the only days he can help me out are his day off and Sunday, when he gets up with the kids and makes everyone breakfast. I really appreciate this, and tell him often. When he's not around though, I get up with the kids but I might be feeling drained later in the day. This is where I love having a five year old who loves to be a helper. She helps put laundry away, she can get milk or juice for herself and her oldest younger brother, wipe up spills, things like that. My three year old can put one article of clothing away at a time (more than that and he gets distracted) wipe up a small spill, and pick up toys his little brother has strewn through the house. My one year old can put things in the toy box, or garbage, we have to watch him to make sure he doesn't mix up the two, or throw things into the toilet for good measure (on the rare occasion the bathroom door is open.) This helps me feel less overwhelmed so I can use the energy I have to spend time with those cute little helpers playing and reading and stuff!
6. Do little things throughout the day. I've found that I can no longer do all the dishes, sweeping, wiping the table down and all that after I put the kids to bed, as much as I love waking up to a clean kitchen. So to help with the clean-ish kitchen thing, I do all the dishes in the middle of the day, including cleaning the sink and wiping down the stove top. I've always had to wipe the table down several times a day, but giving it a good scrub somewhere in the middle of the day seems to me more manageable than doing it at the end of the day. When I am no longer feeling yucky, I might go back to the end of the day so everything feels really nice in the morning, but at least the stuff is still all getting done.
7. Stretch. This doesn't help too much with feeling woozy, but it does help with having energy and when you're muscles aren't as tight you do things faster when you have moments of non-nausea.
8. Use the slow cooker. No this doesn't make the nausea go away, though I wish it did, but it does make sure dinner is ready and warm and not burnt, even if your afternoons are really hard. It also makes great soup, which helps settle upset stomachs.
9. Water! Being dehydrated can make you queasy when you're NOT pregnant. When you are, it's even worse. Plus, the baby needs that water, and it will help your circulation too!
These are just a few things I've found that help me function and be an active mom and wife in my family's life.